Only 100 companies have been a source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report.
The Carbon Majors Report, from the Carbon Disclosure Project, found that more than 50% of global industrial emissions since 1988 – the year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established – can be traced to just 25 corporate and state-owned entities.
The most polluting investor-owned companies are ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron while state-backed Saudi Aramco, China’s coal industry and Russia’s Gazprom have been the top three greenhouse gas emitters overall.
China’s coal industry, which is dominated by a collection of state-owned or managed firms, has emitted an estimated 14.3% of the world’s industrial greenhouse gases since 1988.
The dependency of the Chinese economy on one of the dirtiest sources of energy that exists, represents a massive risk for the entire planet and eco-system.
The cause of global warming is linked to human activities and also to our economy that still uses fossil fuels as a main source of energy. If fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same pace as between 1988 and 2017, global average temperatures would rise by 4 degee Celsius by the end of the century, the study found.
This could potentially lead to a new mass extinction of species that would annihilate life on Earth.
But the fact that over 20% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions are backed by public investment, according to the same report, puts a significant responsibility on both investors and governments to force those companies to stop polluting our environment.
Therefore, global warming can be stopped, but the missing factor is the political will to implement policies that will force the main offenders to stop polluting.
Britain and the rest of Europe can play a big part in implementing those changes, but first we will have to decide whether we still want to rely on fossil energy or not.
As you can see on this chart below, many of these companies aren’t European, and therefore our economy is dependent on both foreign government and companies to provide us with the energy we need on a daily basis.
Top 25 producers and their cumulative greenhouse gas emissions from 1988-2015
1. China (Coal) 14.32%
2. Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) 4.50%
3. Gazprom OAO 3.91%
4. National Iranian Oil Co 2.28%
5. ExxonMobil Corp 1.98%
6. Coal India 1.87%
7. Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) 1.87%
8. Russia (Coal) 1.86%
9. Royal Dutch Shell PLC 1.67%
10. China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) 1.56%
11. BP PLC 1.53%
12. Chevron Corp 1.31%
13. Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) 1.23%
14. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co 1.20%
15. Poland Coal 1.16%
16. Peabody Energy Corp 1.15%
17. Sonatrach SPA 1.00%
18. Kuwait Petroleum Corp 1.00%
19. Total SA 0.95%
20. BHP Billiton Ltd 0.91%
21. ConocoPhillips 0.91%
22. Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) 0.77%
23. Lukoil OAO 0.75%
24. Rio Tinto 0.75%
25. Nigerian National Petroleum Corp 0.72%
Therefore, the government should implement policies that aim to make our country self-sufficient in the long-term whilst guaranteeing that we don’t rely on fossil fuel as an energy source. Only energy that is produced naturally from renewable resources on a human timescale, such as sun, wind, rain, tides, wave and geothermal heat, could guarantee our energy independence.
However, the Conservatives are still stuck in the past and are chasing short profit. Hence why they are heavily supporting the fracking industry here in UK, regardless on the impact upon our environment. Meanwhile they are still failing to tackle our dependency of fossil energy which is the main reason of global warming. They won’t guarantee our energy independence and will simply make our life even more difficult.
Politicians from all political parties need to comprehend that the energy sector is intrinsically linked to the impact upon our environment. We need to guarantee both energy independence and make sure that we stop destroying our environment. In other words, let’s take back control of our energy to save the planet.